Time trials are the name of the game as the Super License challenge comes calling. Getting your Super License qualifies you to compete in just about any race. That even includes the longest and most challenging races. You need to get this license to validate yourself as being worthy enough to compete in, and win, almost any event. Most of your racing in one lap runs have been behind the Pace Car. Now, the Pace Car is off the track. It's all about you and the track in front of you. Make the most of your car and its handling characteristics to deliver the best performance you can muster. Welcome to the final challenge of GT4's license tests- the Super License tests!
Because Gran Turismo 4's repertoire of license tests is massive, I will divide this into three parts. When all have been posted to JGTS, you can visit any number of the blog posts to help you in acquiring whatever series of licenses you aspire to earn. Here is my series on GT4's license tests:
PART 1 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - National
PART 2 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - International
PART 3 of 3: Gran Turismo 4 License Tests - Super License (YOU ARE HERE)
LATEST UPDATE(S)/REVISION(S):MAR 19 2012 - updated look of post
--- Gran Turismo 4 License Tests at a Glance ---You need a license to go racing in Gran Turismo. Where you can race and what you can race depends on your license. You need to acquire all licenses to be eligible to compete in all events. This remains unchanged since the very first Gran Turismo. You may loathe these license tests, but you have no other choice but to take part in these to clear the game. If you have run out of ideas on how to run each course, follow the included demo runs to get some inspiration as to how to clear each license test. Take notes from the video and apply those techniques to your own driving style. I play with a DualShock, but many recommend racing with a steering wheel to get the most overall bit of performance out of your driving. Racing with a steering wheel assembly can offer you a little extra advantage in your racing. So invest in getting a steering wheel to have a little extra edge and control in your racing.
The best thing about Gran Turismo 4's license tests is that they aren't as difficult to clear each test as long as you drive consistently. This makes the license tests more along the lines of "easy to learn, difficult to master." You will find this to be refreshing in the later license tests because some of these can be very tough to score Silver or better. All you have to do is drive consistently and properly to clear most of the later license tests to pass. It may not sound very rewarding to GT veterans like myself, but consider that not every player of Gran Turismo is of the same caliber of the Gran Turismo elites and veterans. On the other hand, the Bronze scores aren't terribly easy to where you can drive like an idiot and still pass.
New to the variety of license tests are one-lap trials and Coffee Breaks. Every five license tests (excluding for the Super License) for each set of tests is a one-lap guided run around a certain track with a Pace Car. These are meant for you to learn some of the many courses of Gran Turismo 4.
When you reach the Super License tests (get all four licenses), your attention turns from lessons to applied tests. You will be racing various cars on some of Gran Turismo 4's finest tracks.
Now, here is some extra information you need to know about License Tests in Gran Turismo 4:
Info on 1 Lap Guide Runs.On every five License Tests between National-B and International-A, you will take on a One Lap Guide Run. The 1 Lap Guide Run is a new concept to Gran Turismo license tests. In these tests, you learn every inch/meter of each track with a Pace Car ahead of you. The Pace Car will auto-adjust to your skill depending on how hard you want to take the course. Follow the racing line set by the Pace Car driver to know where to drive on the track. When the Pace Car brakes, you do the same in the area he/she brakes. The point of guided runs is to learn each track. If you hit the Pace Car, you will automatically fail. Almost pretend the Pace Car is not there and just go race the track as competitively as you can. When you complete one of these, you will not have the luxury of following your ghost to try to improve your time. So therefore, you will have to continually adjust your driving style to try to lay down the best lap time. Each license test (except the Super License) category features three of these one-lap guide runs. At least a Bronze for each One Lap Guide Run is certainly attainable as long as you race smart and try to complete each course within the specified par times. Take your time and learn each track as you go around each of them. A prize is easily attainable for just driving consistently enough around the track. If you want to score better marks, be more aggressive and put together a solid driving effort.
NOTE: There are no One Lap Guide Runs in the Super License, so don't worry about this part of this section.
Coffee Breaks.Also new are Coffee Breaks. These are driving mini games meant to provide a little diversion from the intense license tests. Clearing these (for what I know) are not required to clear. Gold and Silver times apply for these, but just finishing the course is more important than trying to lay down a mystifying time around the Coffee Break courses. All of the Coffee Breaks take place on the Gymkhana Course.
Start Types.Standing Starts and Rolling Starts are featured for License Tests in Gran Turismo 4. If a race is part of a Standing Start, it is important to note that getting a strong launch from your starting position can make a great difference in shaving off a few extra seconds. You need not worry about good launches if a test is part of a Rolling Start. If a license test begins with a Rolling Start, you will see the certain launch speed you will go at. They are purely estimates based on what speed you are at by the time you cross the Start gate. I have run every License Test to examine the closest-possible top speed once you start the test.
This said, let's begin!
--- GT4 License Tests: Super License ---
You need a Super License to stand any chance of beating Gran Turismo 4. No excuses. This is not an optional license. You need a Super License especially for some of the races in the Extreme Events hall.
^ The entire track is yours. Can you pilot your given car across each track with the fastest-possible times?
"This is a higher difficulty level of license for more skilled players. The curriculum is composed of one lap time attacks only."
-Super License Tests scrolling information in GT4
The Super License consists of one-lap time trials. You are given a car to race for one lap around each of the different tracks. All of your skills from the previous four licenses will be put to good use as you are asked to clear each license test to the best of your ability. The Pace Car is no more. You're grown up now. There are no more One Lap Guide Runs. It's time to go all out and make the most of what you've learned previously. The tests consist of both Normal cars and Racing cars. Learn each track. Understand each car. Race as hard as you can to deliver the quickest laps you can muster in having any hopes of clearing all sixteen tests.
The challenges will be extreme, but this will be the ultimate test of your skills that this game has to offer. All I can do is give advice. The actual driving is up to you and you alone. You can do it!
--- SUPER LICENSE TESTS ---
S-1: 1 Lap Time Trial (Twin Ring Motegi Road Course)
S-2: 1 Lap Time Trial (Citta di Aria)
S-3: 1 Lap Time Trial (Special Stage Route 5)
S-4: 1 Lap Time Trial (Costa di Amalfi)
S-5: 1 Lap Time Trial (Seattle)
S-6: 1 Lap Time Trial (Ice Arena)
S-7: 1 Lap Time Trial (Trial Mountain)
S-8: 1 Lap Time Trial (Tokyo R246)
Coffee Break: Cone Maze Challenge
S-9: 1 Lap Time Trial (El Capitan)
S-10: 1 Lap Time Trial (Grand Canyon)
S-11: 1 Lap Time Trial (Opera Paris)
S-12: 1 Lap Time Trial (Suzuka Circuit)
S-13: 1 Lap Time Trial (Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course)
S-14: 1 Lap Time Trial (Chamonix)
S-15: 1 Lap Time Trial (Circuit de la Sarthe)
S-16: 1 Lap Time Trial (Nürburgring North Course)
S-1: 1 Lap Time Trial (Twin Ring Motegi Road Course).Car: 1998 Honda Gathers Drider Civic Race Car
Course: Twin Ring Motegi - Road Course
Start: Rolling Start at 90 mph
The first of your license tests requires you to race around Twin Ring Motegi's full road course in a fast Honda Civic race car. Your Civic is a FWD race car on a demanding, mostly flat race course with sharp corners. It will not be easy trying to swing your Civic around Motegi's road course. For the most part, there is not much difference between this race car and the road-going car. Both cars pack 181 horsepower, and obviously, the car you're racing in this test is on racing tires with a racing rollcage. Its brakes are very powerful as well. So if anything, you are essentially racing a street car vastly modified for racing. Be careful not to divebomb too deep into corners. Otherwise, you'll pay dearly on the stopwatch.
• GOLD: 2:17.000
• SILVER: 2:21.000
• BRONZE: 2:26.000
S-2: 1 Lap Time Trial (Citta di Aria).Car: 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider 1600 Duetto
Course: Citta di Aria
Start: Standing Start
You are back in the claustrophobic nightmare known as Citta di Aria, but in a different Alfa Romeo. The beautiful Spider 1600 Duetto will be your car as you race around Citta di Aria. This car has a longer wheelbase than the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA Sprint from the One Lap Guide Run you did in a past test. Because of this, you can push its handling limits a bit further than the other Alfa Romeo you've used previously. This car is more stable in the turns than the car you used in IB-15 and MUCH slower than that suicidal run you have to do in the IB-license final.
• GOLD: 2:17.000
• SILVER: 2:21.000
• BRONZE: 2:26.440
S-3: 1 Lap Time Trial (Special Stage Route 5).Car: 2002 Saleen S7
Course: Special Stage Route 5
Start: Rolling Start at 138 mph
If you can believe it, this is your first time... and will be the ONLY time you race around Special Stage Route 5. You're doing a lap of this track in a Saleen S7. This V8-powered beast is a real American supercar with its midship design and incredible top speed. Harness this beast's energy around the highways of Special Stage Route 5. Your car handles the highways and streets pretty well. Maybe it isn't an overly dominating and overbearing supercar, but it handles its own quite well. Develop a consistent rhythm that will allow you to handle especially the first half of the course without fail. This car will not flail out of control unless you just drive bloody mad (as my British friends might say). The really crucial parts of the track are the hairpin and the final set of chicanes that lead to the final corner and eventually the Finish line.
• GOLD: 1:24.500
• SILVER: 1:27.000
• BRONZE: 1:33.400
S-4: 1 Lap Time Trial (Costa di Amalfi).Car: 1977 Lancia Stratos Rally Car
Course: Costa di Amalfi
Start: Standing Start
For the first time since Gran Turismo 2, you will be racing the Lancia Stratos rally car. It will, however, be the first time you race one in a License Test. This wedge-shaped racing machine is powered by a Ferrari V6 engine. Costa di Amalfi awaits you as you power your way up and down this course using one of the most successful rally cars of all-time. Narrow roads and various elevation changes add intrigue to this challenging course. However, it is a challenging course where you can enjoy high speed racing. The corners are all blind, but unlike Citta di Aria, is much more fun to race with its slightly wider roads and higher speed sections. The northern portion of the track takes you to the track's highest elevation points. If you're ambitious, as you make your way downhill from the northeastern end of Costa di Amalfi, take on the snaking road from the northeastern corner down to the impending hairpin at full speed and don't start braking hard until you reach the corner leading to that hairpin. Your car will be unstable all the way down, but try to control the car to furiously blast through this section. The most important corners to get right are the final three hairpins. The second and third hairpins are super-slow, so find a good line and power out of the final two hairpins with everything you got! Polyphony Digital couldn't have given you a better car to use for this test than the Stratos rally car.
• GOLD: 2:17.000
• SILVER: 2:21.000
• BRONZE: 2:27.500
S-5: 1 Lap Time Trial (Seattle).Car: 2005 Ford GT
Course: Seattle Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 114 mph
Since Gran Turismo 2, the streets of Seattle were shaking in wake of Fords. You raced two different GT40s in GT2 and GT3 in different tests. You raced this track in the normal direction in GT2 and reverse in GT3. Now, you're back to the normal layout and doing so in the new (at the time of this game) Ford GT. This car isn't as fluid of a car as the Ford GT40 cars you've used previously in past GT games (if you played GT2 and/or GT3), but this car does a very good job handling this course. The back end will not snap on you or punish you for not stabilizing the car properly in the corners. Drive fearlessly and without malice trying to tackle the many blind and sharp corners of Seattle Circuit. By the way, this is your first and only visit to Seattle in the GT4 License Tests.
• GOLD: 1:34.200
• SILVER: 1:37.500
• BRONZE: 1:43.200
S-6: 1 Lap Time Trial (Ice Arena).Car: 2001 Hyundai Accent Rally Car
Course: Ice Arena
Start: Standing Start
The Hyundai Accent is your weapon around the Ice Arena. Ice Arena is a fictional course dominated by snow banks and some moderate-degree turns. The Accent Rally Car featured in this test was the same Accent Rally Car raced in the World Rally Championship back in its day. In fact, I think Alister McRae raced an Accent in the WRC back in the early 2000s. Anyhow, it won't take too much to nail down a time just below Silver. Just try to make tight turns as best as you can while not drifting wildly out of control. Also, be sure not to get too aggressive in any one set of turns. Also, be careful not to swing the car out too wide in the switchback that leads to the Start/Finish straight. This is a track that rewards consistent and timely drifts. The Accent is a pretty good car you are given for this course, but it is not as agile or as fun as an Impreza or a Lancer. Make the most of the Accent's ability and deliver your best performance to pass.
• GOLD: 57.000
• SILVER: 58.710
• BRONZE: 1:00.910
S-7: 1 Lap Time Trial (Trial Mountain).Car: 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
Course: Trial Mountain
Start: Rolling Start at 55 mph
Race the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren around Trial Mountain. This beast of a car has 5439cc of displacement and something north of 600 horsepower. It almost seems like a death wish to take an exotic like this around a deceptive purgatory like Trial Mountain. But... that's the challenge in front of you. This car handles Trial Mountain surprisingly well. It has loads of power for a heavy vehicle as this one. It will get up to speed very well and remains mostly stable through the twisty and undulating roads of Trial Mountain. Unlike that "Yellow Bird" you raced, this car is MUCH more stable thanks to its front-engine/RWD layout. You'll reach speeds of over 140 miles per hour as you reach the crest on the backstretch of Trial Mountain. Success in passing this test depends on your ability to keep this big Benz on the road and between the lines. You'll literally have your hands full with this car on this course.
• GOLD: 1:30.500
• SILVER: 1:32.000
• BRONZE: 1:38.300
S-8: 1 Lap Time Trial (Tokyo R246).Car: 2003 Honda Takata Dome NSX GT (JGTC)
Course: Tokyo R246
Start: Rolling Start at 137 mph
Strap into your JGTC NSX to take on the streets of Japan's capital city. Tokyo Route 246 is a high-speed street course with plenty of tricky depths to it. You have a mid-engined GT race car to take on these streets with. Not only a mid-engined GT car, but a mid-engine race car from the JGTC (now known as Super GT). Tokyo R246 gives you its toughest corners first. Start braking hard before passing under the second Firestone sign for Turn 1. You're tempted to go really fast here, and you can. You just have to drive carefully and develop a great racing line. Pulling Gold here is going to be quite difficult. My best time (non-demo run) was 1:35.793. Be proud if you even get into the 1:35 range.
• GOLD: 1:33.000
• SILVER: 1:36.330
• BRONZE: 1:42.000
S Coffee Break: Cone Maze Challenge.Car: 1992 Honda Beat Version F
Course: Gymkhana - MAZE
Start: Standing Start
Are you ready for the final Coffee Break? This one will grind your mind because 50 cones are scattered across a giant maze. Pilot your Honda Beat through the course, knocking out all 50 cones in the process. Gold is near impossible, so just find all fifty cones and take them out. You can even use Reverse to take out cones behind you. Best advice- take your time. Knock them out so we can knock out the remaining eight Super License tests! My demo run was a 2:11.333. My previous best- 2:38.966!
• GOLD: 1:33.000
• SILVER: 1:36.000
• BRONZE: (just finish)
S-9: 1 Lap Time Trial (El Capitan).Car: 2003 Dodge Viper SRT-10
Course: El Capitan
Start: Rolling Start at 113 mph
For the final time, you will take on El Capitan. You will do so in a Dodge Viper convertible. I've personally never really liked the Viper as a convertible. If you thought the previous tests on El Capitan were tough on your car's suspension and in making your car all kinds of unstable, you haven't seen anything yet. Your Viper can be prone to understeer as you try to power your way around this track. This V10-powered snake doesn't have as much venom when contested with the undulations. So among other bits of advice, don't go all out here until you fully understand the limits of both this Viper and El Capitan. Do a little braking if you have to just to prevent the car from snapping loose from your control. Rule number 1- keep the car stable throughout the entire course. Rule number 2- don't try to do too much at once. Just don't go crazy trying to lay down the quickest times until you are truly ready to do so.
• GOLD: 1:47.800
• SILVER: 1;51.300
• BRONZE: 2:00.000
S-10: 1 Lap Time Trial (Grand Canyon).Car: 1984 Mitsubishi Starion 4WD Rally Car
Course: Grand Canyon
Start: Standing Start
Experience the full length of Grand Canyon in a Mitsubishi Starion rally car. While the Starion is a rear-wheel drive car, you will be racing the 4WD rally car version of the Starion. Grand Canyon was the first rally course featured for Gran Turismo 4 in GT4's initial stages. It is a course dominated by intense corners. Many switchbacks and challenging roads makes this course totally imposing. The roads are mostly narrow. This course is the closest to a proper-style rally course with such narrow roads. Get ready to deal with the narrow roads and twisty bends of Grand Canyon while trying to nail a solid lap time. Silver can be fairly easy to attain with solid driving. Be a bit more daring if you want to get a Gold here. I pulled a 2:50.979 in my demo run, and it was better than than my previous best of 2:52.345.
• GOLD: 2:47.000
• SILVER: 2:53.000
• BRONZE: 3:02.000
S-11: 1 Lap Time Trial (Opera Paris).Car: 2003 Renault Clio Renault Sport V6 Phase 2
Course: Opera Paris
Start: Standing Start
The streets of Paris are much more fun to race on when you have a great car, and that's what you get with this Renault you will be racing. This mid-engine, RWD hatchback is more than sufficient to take on this course. The fact this car has a midship configuration with ample horsepower and rear-wheel drive means you have a car sporty enough and capable enough to take on this course. You can harness this hatchback's performance capabilities to get up to speed quickly and turn precisely. It's hard to get this car to spin out in the corners, but be careful not to power down too early through the very slow corners. Otherwise, your car will briefly drift out of control. Gather it up before you pay a dear price for your tomfoolery.
• GOLD: 1:36.620
• SILVER: 1:38.500
• BRONZE: 1:44.230
S-12: 1 Lap Time Trial (Suzuka Circuit).Car: 2004 Nissan Motul Pitwork Z (JGTC)
Course: Suzuka Circuit
Start: Rolling Start at 135 mph
Let this be your final exam around Suzuka- pilot a powerful JGTC race car around one of the world's greatest race tracks. Suzuka will not hold back, and neither will your Nissan Motul Pitwork Z. The Z was the car used by the Nissan teams as the R35 GT-R was still in the works. You must furiously race this GT racing machine through this glorious racing facility. It can take whatever Suzuka throws at it. Powerful brakes, powerful acceleration, strong top speed, and great handling are all this car's finest qualities. You are given a great race car to race in anger. Make the most of it and this track to deliver a strong lap. Be proficient in your attack all lap long, thinking ahead to the next set of corners. Degner, 130R, and the Casio Triangle are three of the most critical zones of Suzuka that must be met appropriately for you to land the best lap times.
• GOLD: 1:55.919
• SILVER: 1:59.437
• BRONZE: 2:05.730
S-13: 1 Lap Time Trial (Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course).Car: 2001 Audi R8 Race Car
Course: Infineon Raceway - Sports Car Course
Start: Rolling Start at 105 mph
The Audi R8 LMP race car dominated sportscar racing for about the entirety of the first half of the 2000s. It would later be replaced by the Audi R10 TDI. Infineon Raceway is a tough circuit to master. It won't be made any easier considering the Audi R8 LMP is such a plenty capable car. You have to try to keep this car pasted to the tarmac as much as you can. Its strong top speed and acceleration, though, make it feel like trying to keep a Formula 1 race car on a go-kart track. You need a lot of practice here to know how to race this track to a Bronze. Then, learn how to do what you did for Bronze, only faster and more precise for Silver and Gold.
• GOLD: 1:16.120
• SILVER: 1:17.300
• BRONZE: 1:22.700
S-14: 1 Lap Time Trial (Chamonix).Car: 1985 Peugeot 205 Turbo Rally Car
Start: Standing Start
If you love Group B rally cars, you will love this test. However, you will loathe racing Chamonix because this is very difficult. You must power your way around Chamonix in a Group B car. The loss of traction coupled with this car's willingness to hammer down upon acceleration makes this test absolutely difficult. This is the final rally License test. Group B rally cars were notorious for being absolutely beastly to handle on various off-road and on-road stages. The lack of traction on snow and ice means this car will easily spin out if you give too much throttle too early. Try to find a delicate balance between power and handling. You want to harness the Peugeot's handling and power, but you have to do so on a narrow course laden with snowy and icy sections. The car is poor to race on tarmac. The car really shows its prowess on this course once you get on the snow. In my first time playing this track, I somehow managed 2:28.326- good enough for Silver. I didn't even complete a demo run. So that's why my information and advice are so limited. Maybe you'll agree with me that racing on snow in GT4 is a bit easier than racing on dirt as non-tarmac racing is concerned. Or at least, I've seemed to do better on snow and ice than dirt.
• GOLD: 2:26.500
• SILVER: 2:30.895
• BRONZE: 2:40.043
S-15: 1 Lap Time Trial (Circuit de la Sarthe).Car: 2003 Bentley Speed 8 Race Car
Course: Circuit de la Sarthe I
Start: Rolling Start at 99 mph
I can't tell you how happy I am to tell you that Le Mans is next. I am a HUGE fan of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. This will be the final License Test with a Rolling Start. Bentley is one of the all-time greatest marques at Le Mans, having won Le Mans six times in the first ten years of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. They triumphed again in 2003 with the car you will be racing in this License Test. Bentley (or at least Polyphony Digital) has bestowed you with the Le Mans-winning Bentley Speed 8 to take on all 8.5 miles of Circuit de la Sarthe I. This track snakes and weaves to the left and to the right early on with several elevation changes. Tertre Rouge (leading onto the very long backstretch) is tough to get right. All the while, enjoy racing at over 200 miles per hour to about a top speed in the 220 mph range. The Mulsanne Kink is a reminder that this course is going to get much more difficult. The road to Indianapolis and Arnage narrows up as both corners are tough to navigate. The Porsche Curves will really test your car control skills. My best time of this blog's initial posting was 3:24.610. My demo run was 3:31.033. It is not difficult at all to keep this car to the road- just don't overdrive the car.
• GOLD: 3:19.000
• SILVER: 3:25.400
• BRONZE: 3:36.600
S-16: 1 Lap Time Trial (Nürburgring North Course).Car: 1992 AMG Mercedes 190 E 2.5 - 16 Evolution II Touring Car
Course: Nürburgring Nordschleife
Start: Standing Start
You will be home free from License Tests once you get past this test. That is... 12+ miles away from home! From a previous blog post, you know how much I love (actually, f'ing HATE!) racing the Nürburgring Nordschleife. Narrow, undulating roads along with blind corners make this track worthy of its nickname of "Green Hell." The best news is that as long as you can race precisely around these roads for a good seven minutes, winning a prize isn't hard to come by. This is the final Standing Start license test. I didn't even complete a demo run, so let me offer you advice as someone who hates racing this course. Learn as you go is the main piece of advice. You are basically racing the motorsports version of the car from the IA-15 test. This car was made for the Nürburgring since it isn't blindingly fast. The one thing I hate about doing long courses is that screwing up one section of a very long course ruins an entire run, and it's almost impossible to rebound if you're able to do so. I feel like I HAVE to clear it on the first try so that I won't have to waste minutes of my life having to try the entire massive course again. It is a huge test of patience. And when you're trying to nail a super-fast lap time on a very long course with well over 100 corners, it is an absolute nightmare. Do more braking and drive a bit less fearless driving this course if it helps. Just drive fast enough to easily nail Bronze. You'll need to be faster and more precise to get to Silver territory and beyond. My only run on record here yielded a 7:49.974 time. Glory awaits you if you pass this test!
• GOLD: 7:07.700
• SILVER: 7:30.000
• BRONZE: 7:58.300
Did you clear all 16 tests and the Coffee Break? If so, congratulations! Enjoy your Super License and prize car(s)!
This concludes not only the Super license tests, but all license tests. I broke these up to decrease my workload and also to improve the performance of my blog. Thank you for reading this series of posts on the License Tests of Gran Turismo 4!
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